Knitting needles allowed on Aussie planes in post-9/11 move | world | Hindustan Times
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Knitting needles allowed on Aussie planes in post-9/11 move

world Updated: Dec 16, 2009 11:27 IST

Australia on Wednesday announced plans to allow knitting needles, nail files and metal cutlery back on aeroplanes, easing tight security measures imposed after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The government said it would seek to minimise inconvenience without compromising security.

"The idea that nail clippers or knitting needles are a bigger threat to airline security than the metal forks which are handed out with meals fails the common sense test," Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said.

"It distracts security staff from looking for items of much greater risk."

Albanese said the government's new approach was in line with international standards and takes into account specific threats to Australia.

Metal cutlery would be allowed in the cabins of all aircraft leaving Australia and at airport facilities. Knitting needles, crochet hooks and nail files would be removed from the list of banned carry-on items.

Tennis racquets, corkscrews and umbrellas would also be taken off the prohibited items list, while security checks on passengers and baggage will be raised.

The measures were included in a paper outlining proposed aviation policy for the next two decades.

"Real threats remain to aviation security and the government will continue to enhance the security measures in place to reduce the risk to travellers and the general public from these threats," the paper said.

"The security system will continue to be flexible, taking account of contemporary risks and threats, while being responsive to future changes."